Resources and energy exports setting new records

Australia’s resource and energy export figures are on track to set a new record of $226 billion in 2017–18 – and go even higher this year – according to an in-depth Government report released today.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said strong demand and prices for iron ore, coal and liquid natural gas (LNG) in particular were pushing total exports from the sector to the new records.

“The prediction is that the 2018-19 figure will be $12 billion higher at $238 billion, with continuing strong demand for high-quality Australian coal seeing coal regain its traditional position as our single most valuable resource export,” Minister Canavan said.

“That will see coal reclaim its place at the top of Australia’s export earners – a position it held for decades until it was supplanted by booming iron ore exports in 2010 – and is great news for the major coal-producing States of Queensland and New South Wales.

“It is likely coal and iron ore will continue to fight it out for the title of Australia’s top export-earner in coming years, while LNG will also perform strongly.

“These are very exciting figures,” Minister Canavan said. “They’re great news for the Australian economy.

“These figures demonstrate once again the vital importance of the resources sector to Australia, providing a massive contribution in terms of spending, royalties and jobs throughout the nation.”

Minister Canavan was commenting after the release today of the June 2018 Resources and Energy Quarterly - compiled by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science – which provides in-depth analysis of commodity markets and detailed forecasts for production, exports and prices.

As well as reporting on the 2017-18 financial year, the report also looks ahead to likely results in the current 2018-19 year, when it predicts coal will overtake iron ore as Australia’s most valuable export at $58.1 billion, around $400 million above forecast iron ore exports at $57.7 billion.

Minister Canavan said the figures for coal demonstrated the continuing strong world demand and its ongoing importance to the Australian economy.

“I emphasise the strong performance of coal only because anti-mining activists constantly try to talk down its importance. Coal remains a vital contributor to the Australian economy and the economic well-being of families throughout Australia.

“As one simple example, coal royalties will contribute some $3.8 billion to the Queensland budget this year and, without coal royalties, the State Government would have to tax every Queensland household almost $2,000 extra to provide the same level of services.”

Minister Canavan said the report also predicted increased coal exploration in Australia.

“In May this year, the Queensland Government called for tenders to explore more than 540 square kilometres in the Bowen, Surat and Galilee Basins for coal, which is likely to support further growth in exploration activity.”

The June edition also provides a special analysis of Australia’s promising future as an LNG exporter.

“Australia is set to become a global powerhouse in LNG over the next few years as tens of billions of dollars in investment start to pay off,” Minister Canavan said.

“Three huge LNG projects are expected to be completed in 2018. The completion of Wheatstone, Ichthys and Prelude will create a huge benefit to the Australian economy as production kicks in and exports get underway.”

The June 2018 Resources and Energy Quarterly is available at www.industry.gov.au

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